Having Problem With Your DPF? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you own a diesel car, chances are you have a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) fitted to your exhaust system. But do you know exactly what it does and how to maintain it? Let’s dive into the world of DPFs and explore common issues, solutions, and essential care tips.

What Is a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)?

A DPF is a filter designed to capture and store exhaust soot (often referred to as “soot traps”) from diesel cars. Its primary purpose is to reduce harmful emissions. However, because DPFs have a finite capacity, the trapped soot periodically needs to be emptied or “burned off” to regenerate the filter.

Here’s what you need to know about DPFs:

  1. Regeneration Process: During regeneration, excess soot deposited in the filter is cleanly burned off. This reduces harmful exhaust emissions and prevents the black smoke you used to see from diesel vehicles during acceleration.
  2. Mandatory for Modern Diesels: Euro 5 emissions legislation (introduced in 2009) made DPFs mandatory for all modern diesel cars. Since then, every new diesel vehicle comes equipped with at least one DPF.

Common Signs of DPF Issues:

  1. Check Engine Light: If your DPF is becoming clogged with soot or develops a fault, an orange light will typically appear on your dashboard. It looks like a piped box with dots in the middle. Don’t ignore it!
  2. Decreased Engine Performance: A blocked DPF affects the exhaust system, leading to reduced engine performance and sluggish acceleration.
  3. Poor Fuel Efficiency: Inefficient engine operation due to a clogged DPF results in higher fuel consumption.
  4. Trouble Starting: Severely blocked filters can even prevent your engine from starting.
  5. Strange Smells: If you notice unusual odors from your exhaust, it could be related to DPF issues.
  6. Turbocharger Damage: Ignoring DPF problems can harm other components, such as the turbocharger.

Causes of DPF Blockage:

  1. Short Journeys: Frequent city driving prevents DPFs from reaching optimal temperatures for regeneration. Consider petrol or electric cars for city-bound driving.
  2. Poor Servicing: Regular maintenance is crucial. A well-maintained DPF should last at least 100,000 miles.
  3. Use the Right Oil: Some oils contain additives that can block filters. Choose the right type of oil for your diesel engine.

Legal Implications:

  • Removing a DPF is Illegal: Owners face fines if caught (up to £1,000 for cars and £2,500 for vans). It can also invalidate your car insurance policy.

Remember, if your DPF light is illuminated, have it inspected and repaired promptly. Whether it’s a clogged filter or a faulty sensor, addressing the issue early can save you trouble down the road.

For more detailed information, check out these resources:

Keep your DPF healthy, and drive cleaner! 🚗💨